Advent Lessons & Carols 2013
Friday, December 13, 6:00 PM
Advent Lessons & Carols 2013
Friday, December 13, 6:00 PM
Dear Blessed John Henry Newman parish family,
On this, our patronal feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman - the anniversary of his reception into full communion with the Catholic Church, I am pleased to announce that I will be receiving into full communion Rev. Glenn Baaten and his wife, Cathy. Glenn has just taken a bold step of faith to become more deeply one with Our Lord and his Church this past week by resigning his orders and leaving his former Anglican parish. As assistant priest to a parish in Orange County, Glenn is looking forward to remaining in the area to serve the Church, and our parish in particular, in new ways. Cathy is a pre-school teacher and is interested in starting a children’s Sunday School for Bl. John’s in the near future. Glenn hopes to serve pastorally, educationally, and liturgically in our congregation, applying his talents and years of experience.
Glenn and Cathy will begin attending Bl. John’s this Sunday at 1:00 pm. Please join with me in welcoming them home!
In other exciting news, Greg Herr and Karen Lee-Thorp have volunteered to lead weekly Wednesday Evening Prayer at 6:00 pm starting on November 13. It will be in the main church of St. Mary’s, Fullerton. Following the service, everyone will join together for a meal.
Developing on top of this, Tommy Quinones is looking for some men who wish to form a schola to chant simple plainsong, full Gregorian, or Anglican Chant. The goal is to have, at least once a month, a simple but solemn Evensong. Please see the website for more details.
Almighty God, who didst bestow on thy Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow thy kindly light and to find peace in thy Church; grant, we beseech thee, that through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fulness of thy truth; through thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
To Christ through Mary,
This particular article in First Things, on Papal Infallibility, has stirred up some feedback, including from some Eastern Orthodox commentators. One of them wrote this:
A good summary of RC teaching on the Papacy, though it doesn’t tell us anything that a reasonably well-read Christian should not already know.
He lets Honorius off rather lightly, I think. Not as lightly as some Catholic commentators, who claim that Honorius merely acquiesced in heresy or neglected to combat it vigorously enough; he at least admits that Honorius positively taught heresy. But he excuses him on the basis that his teaching did not meet the technical requirements of ex cathedra. So Honorius gets off on a procedural technicality which, strictly speaking, would not even exist until twelve centuries later. It would be more straightforward to proclaim, as did centuries of Popes at their enthronement, Anathema to the heretic Honorius.
I don’t intend this as a mere quibble. To me it points out a real difficulty in the dogma of Papal infallibility, as defined. The notion of ex cathedra fences in the concept of infallibility, to ensure that it is not applied to lesser or trivial matters, but at the price of making it nearly impossible to tell, in any given case, whether ex cathedra is in effect. The writings of Honorius on Monotheletism are a case in point: he did not explicitly claim to be speaking ex cathedra (although the very concept is anachronistic), but he was giving instruction to the bishop of another local Church on a point of doctrine in controversy. It has all the appearance that he intended to settle the matter authoritatively. If it did not meet the criteria later established for ex cathedra, it is not clear to me why not.
A bit off-topic, perhaps. But if you are going to include non-Catholics on a thread like this, you are going to get non-Catholic commentary.
In response to this, a former Anglican, now Catholic, responds very eloquently:
Dear Christopher (if I may),
I think no one has responded to your important contribution so I will attempt an answer.
You are right that your point is an important one and not a mere quibble. The fathers of the First Vatican Council were well aware of the importance of the issue and debated it. However, nor is it right to describe it as a “procedural technicality” that Honorius’s two letters to Sergius should not be regarded as ex cathedra statements. The phrase may be anachronistic when applied to papal teachings but the concept is not at all anachronistic. There is a clear distinction between those writings of popes in the early centuries of Christianity (such as the Tome of St Leo) which seek to define dogma and those which intend something less; Honorius’s two letters are clearly in the latter category and I will try to show later that this was clearly understood by contemporaries. It is important to understand how the two originally separate Monoenergist and Monothelete controversies developed over a very short period of time.
Honorius’s first letter was written in response to the Patriarch Sergius at a time when Honorius did not fully understand the issues involved and when, indeed, the issues were still not what they were to become. The original question was of the duality of operation in Christ and even in the east this had been in dispute only for the short time since 633 when the monk Sophronius had objected to the Pact of Union with the Monophysites on the grounds that the activity of Christ proceeds not from the person of Christ as the sole agent (as the Pact had said) but from the two natures. Honorius would not even have been aware of this dispute until he received Sergius’s letter to which his first letter was a response. Around the same time he received Sophronius’s synodical profession of faith on his election as Patriach of Jerusalem in 634; again this taught only duality of operation. It did not mention the question of duality of wills and, based as it was on the teachings of the Tome of St Leo, it would not have seemed at all exceptionable to Honorius. Although Sergius had himself previously used the formula “one will” he does not mention this in his letter to Honorius but merely sets out the reasons why he had forbidden debate about whether there were one or two operations in Christ: that is because the latter could be taken to imply that there were two wills in Christ contrary to each other. So, with a very imperfect understanding of the issues, Honorius replied making three points. First, we should avoid discussing one or two operations in Christ since these are new and potentially scandalous terms. Secondly it is one Christ who works through two natures. Thirdly, we must hold to the unity of Christ’s will since in assuming our nature He did not assume our fallen nature and therefore had no will opposed to that of the Father’s. In his second letter he confesses “one single will” but as St Maximus allowed he says this in order to avoid the idea of two contradictory wills.
The importance of this is that I don’t think you are right to say that Honorius intended to “settle the matter [of Christ’s will or wills] authoritatively”. Only with the edict Ecthesis of 636 (issued after both of Honorius’s letters) did the issue shift from monoenergism to monotheletism. When Honorius wrote, the dispute was about Christ’s operations and Honorius clearly did not intend to settle that matter authoritatively since his point was precisely that it should not be debated; to do so was dangerous: teaching one operation could lead to Monophysitism and teaching two operations to Nestorianism. Nor could he have intended to settle the question of Christ’s wills authoritatively since that issue was not in dispute until after 636. Only with hindsight after 636 could Honorius be seen as a monothelete. Clearly his statement was technically monothelite and for this reason he was condemned postumously as a heretic just as had been Theodore of Mopsuestia and Origen. However, the reason he gave for the monothelete formula shows that what he was denying was Christ’s gnomic will, something which even St Maximus also denied. If there is a technicality at work here it is the technicality on which Honorius was condemned rather than the technicality which prevents his condemnation from leading to a disproof of papal infallibility.
Finally, I should add that the behaviour of others at the time of the condemnations is further evidence of the point that I am making. Some Catholic apologists have confused the issue by claiming that Honorius was not actually validly condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople. The truth is that he was condemned but it is clear that in condemning him the Council did not in any way think it was bringing the purity of the Roman See into question. When Pope Agatho sent his legates to the Council they came bearing a letter which said “The Roman Church has by God’s grace never erred from the pathway of the apostolic teaching, nor has it lapsed into heretical novelties, but from the very beginning of the Christian faith has preserved unimpaired that which it received from its founders, the princes of the Apostles”. The letter then went on to lay down the orthodox belief in the two wills of Christ. It is clear that Pope Agatho saw no contradiction between his unwavering belief in the indefectibility of the Roman Church and the fact that his predecessor had held the opinions which he had. Similarly, the fact that the papal legates (as at every council keen to protect the honour of Rome) did not oppose the condemnation of Honorius demonstrates that they did not see this condemnation as compromising the purity of the teaching of the Roman See. There could be no better contemporary evidence of the fact that Rome was not seen as compromised by Honorius than the testimony of Sephronius of Jerusalem (the very apostle of the orthodox doctrine of Christ’s two wills and teacher of St Maximus himself) who said you could wander “from the edge of the earth to its outer limits until you come to the apostolic see, where the foundations of orthodox dogmas stand”. When the Council of Constantinople itself acknowledged the primacy of Pope Agatho and hailed him as the “wise…physician” who had cured the ills of the church with his “orthodox medicines” it clearly saw no irony in the statement.
I hope this has helped and shown that one does not have to have recourse to anachronistic technicalities to see that the case of Pope Honorius in no way undermines the doctrine of papal infallibility. The evidence is clear that the very contemporaries who condemned Honorius believed fully in the unsullied apostolic teaching of the Church of Rome.
With best wishes,
On Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm, we will meet up at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Brea for a Procession for prayer and demonstration for Immigration Reform.
Click here for a map to St. Angela Merici Catholic Church.
On Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm, we will meet up at the Huntington Library in San Marino at entrance of the the exibit: “Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions.” The exhibit is in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries, Erburu Wing, and we will tour together, learning about one of patron saints!
On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm, we will meet at Valiant Brewing in Orange for our first Theology on Tap! FOR 21+ ONLY (IDs will be checked). Mr. Charles A. Coulombe will be speaking on the Anglican patrimony as seen from the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church; in light of our country’s rapid cultural and moral changes since 9/11, what is the importance of the unity of Christians?
On Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm, we will meet at La Placita Square (church) in Los Angeles to begin the Queen of Angels Procession at 3:00 pm. Please park at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral (parking garage), as the Procession will end there. Every year, Bl. John’s in honored to represent the Ordinariate and participate in the Queen of Angels procession in honor of Our Lady, under her title of Queen of the Angels. This yearly procession gathers Catholics from all over the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Metropolitan area together, and Bl. John’s is pleased to celebrate together with others in giving Catholic witness to the city of Los Angeles, representing the Anglo-Catholic heritage that the Mother of God has blessed us with, to honor her as Patroness of Los Angeles and Southern California, and to participate in the corporate worship of her Incarnate Son.
Earliest Christians Prayer to Mary By 250 A.D. Christian Prayer to Mary was widespread, rising to the level of liturgical prayer. In this beautiful Coptic papyrus, dated circa 250 A.D., is inscribed the following prayer: Under thy compassion we take refuge…
by Father George W. Rutler
Our parish is blessed with a shrine to Saint Thomas More. The young artist who painted the saint’s image after Holbein was a refugee from communist Eastern Europe. He did such a good job that Cardinal Egan, dedicating it, said that he would not be surprised if this were the original.
We recently celebrated the joint feasts of Saint Thomas More, who was Chancellor of England, and Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester. Their personalities were different in many ways, and it was almost a miracle that an Oxford man and a Cambridge man got on so well and eventually were canonized together. The Act of Succession and the Act of Supremacy were the challenges that King Henry VIII threw at them, and the saints returned the challenge. The issues were rooted in natural law: the meaning of marriage and the claims of government. These are the same issues that loom large today. Whatever our courts of law may decide about these matters, Saint Thomas says: “I am not bound, my lord, to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom.” In 1919, G. K. Chesterton predicted with powerful precision that, great as More’s witness was then, “he is not quite so important as he will be in a hundred years’ time.”
For every courageous saint back then, there were many other Catholics who instead took the safe path of complacency. More’s own family begged him to find some loophole, and — after the sudden deaths of eight other bishops — Fisher was the only one left who acted like an apostle. Those who opted for comfort and wove the lies of their world into a simulation of truth had a banal and shallow faith that Pope Francis has called “rose water.” It is a good image, for rose water is not blood and cannot wash away sin.
The “Man for All Seasons” wrote to his beloved Margaret from his cell in the Tower of London: “And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”
The “Fortnight for Freedom” extended from the vigil of the feasts of Fisher and More to July 4th, but its prayers continue, as the Church’s many charitable and evangelical works are threatened by our present government’s disdain for the religious conscience, most immediately evident in the Health and Human Services mandate and the redefinition of marriage. In 1534 Henry VIII’s arrogation of authority over the Church was quickly followed by a Treasons Act which made it a high crime to criticize the King. In contemporary America as in Tudor England, the surest way to let that happen is to say, “It can’t happen here.”
Fr George Ortiz-Guzman was ordained on June 26, 2013 for St. Augustine of Canterbury, Oceanside, our newest Anglican Ordinariate community in California. They will be meeting for Mass in the Anglican Use at 12:45pm on Sundays, inside St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Oceanside: 4300 Oceanside Blvd, Oceanside, CA 92056.
More photos here on Facebook.
And images from his first mass are also on Facebook.
(Fr Bartus presenting Fr Ed Becker, pastor of St. Joseph’s, a “thank-you” gift for his kindness in hosting us)
Sunday, June 23, was Bl. John’s last Sunday meeting at 3:00pm inside of St. Joseph’s in Santa Ana before our move to Fullerton. It was also the first visit of Bishop Kevin Vann.
(Our usual after Mass fete)
(L to R: Fr Smith, curate of St. Joseph’s, Santa Ana; the Bishop of Orange; Fr Becker, pastor of St. Joseph’s, Santa Ana; Fr Bartus)
Photos by: Rick Belcher (The Catholic Wedding Photographer)
Bishop Vann’s Visitation. Sunday, June 23, 2013 - The Bishop of Orange’s first visitation to Bl. John Henry Newman Catholic Church; Bl. John’s final Sunday worshipping inside of St. Joseph’s, Santa Ana before moving to Fullerton. Part 4
Photos by: Rick Belcher (The Catholic Wedding Photographer)